Sunday, September 13, 2015

Forgotten TV: Here Come the Stars (1968)

George Jessel attempted a TV comeback in 1968, which is ironic considering the last series he hosted was The Comeback Story, 15 years earlier, and he was ousted from that gig before the season was over.

Four Star signed Jessel, billed as "Toastmaster General", which explains the military uniform he wears in the following clip, serving as host of Here Come the Stars, a syndicated series of celebrity roasts, which predated Dean Martin's series by 5 years. Martin was in year 4 of his NBC variety show when Stars took to the air. Four Star was slowly fading away, as the only other show they had on the air that season was the returning Big Valley on ABC. In fact, after Stars & Valley were cancelled, Four Star never sold another series to the networks, going exclusively into syndication until the company finally folded in the late 80's.

Following is a black & white clip of the series finale, honoring Bob Hope, and the only roaster at the lectern in this clip is Bob Crane (Hogan's Heroes). The clip comes from a Crane fan channel.

I had heard of the show, but didn't watch it. I know my folks had tried it out at least once, but I was off to the side in one of the other rooms. No rating.

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